Here are a couple more questions that can wake us up to a deeper and richer life. The first two questions I offered in my last two blog posts were:
- Read: What is it you’ve done today that you’d like to be acknowledged for?
- Read: What act of kindness did you see performed today?
If we aren’t looking for something we often don’t see it.
Have you ever had this experience? Someone with you says they just saw something beautiful that took their breath away or something equally attention getting and you didn’t see it, hear it, or experience it. You wonder why you missed it.
When that has happened to me, I realize that I didn’t have myself set toward seeing the magic of the day. My mind was caught in some familiar chain of thought or routine expectations that didn’t allow for the unexpected delight. This is what happens when we’re preoccupied with something outside of the present moment. We ruminate on past experiences or plan and worry about something in the future; two sure ways of missing something happening NOW.
Here’s a fun short activity for you to do right now that will give you a sense of how selective our attention can be when we’re focused on something.
Being in the present, tuned to awareness has us notice what’s happening around us. Just this morning, on my bike ride I glanced down just at the moment that I was passing a large snapping turtle sitting at the side of the path. She was there laying eggs half sitting on the path and half dug into the ground. Living near water, I see a small turtles from a distance sunning themselves, but very rarely do I see a large one laying her eggs. So I stopped, called my husband back and together we just stood there for a few minutes. I marveled at this ancient creature, engaging in her act of insuring her species future as many before her have done down through time. For a moment, time dissolved and I experienced the wondrous manifestation of life on our precious planet. Bringing that moment back right now, I feel deeply grateful for being given that experience. And when these sorts of things happen I wonder what has me glance in one direction or another, tune my hearing to a sound, or sense something in my body, just at the right moment. Do you ever wonder that?
I’ve learned that in order to experience goodness, love in action, natural beauty, or some other heart stirring wonder, I need to tune myself to it. It’s something like tuning a radio to the station you want. If it’s not tuned, you’re not going to pick up what you want to listen to. I was driving with someone recently and she wanted to listen to a baseball game, but the radio just couldn’t pick up the station it was playing on. She said, “We must be in a dead zone.” That can happen with radio waves and receivers. Can that happen to us as well? Do we create a dead zone inside of us with our thinking, busyness, technologies, and all various forms of distractions? If so, what can we do about it?
A suggested simple practice…
I suggest a simple practice done each morning that takes just a few moments. It also can be done prior to going into an experience that you want to get the most out of. It’s so simple that it’s often overlooked and dismissed as being powerful. Here it is.
Set your intention to notice new things, to be aware of beauty, wonder, goodness, and to be captured by magic. All you need to do is be quiet for a moment, then say to yourself, “I intend to notice anything of beauty, goodness, and wonder.” Practicing this over time will have you automatically tune to the good all around us. That’s it.
Then at the end of your day, ask these questions: What was great about today? What magical thing did you see or experience?
Many people find that intending to notice something of beauty, goodness, and wonder is a great trigger for creative expression, a more positive mindset, deep connections and bonding to loved ones, and expansion of appreciation, just to name a few benefits.
I hope you enjoy playing with this intention and these questions this month. And I’d enjoy hearing from you about anything you discover.